Growing a business requires careful forethought & commitment. But in my case, as it is for many fitness professionals, I was thrust into the role of entrepreneur less out of planning, and more so due to passion. Now, nearly ten years into what was, for me, an unforeseen career shift, I’m reaping the hard earned benefits of a deeply challenging journey. When it comes to my work, helping others with their fitness is the fun part, but the endurance required to avoid burn-out, to keep focus, and to create a system that supports you rather than enslaves you— now that is a different story altogether. If you, like me, are working on making your fitness business both pleasurable AND profitable, then I hope these 5 pillars will help you chart a productive course!
1. Positional Purpose.
Make sure that you do what you do FOR YOU. Wait…what? I thought the reason we go into business is to help others? Ultimately, this is a major goal, yes. But going into business requires your blood, sweat, and tears. You’ll face exhaustion, the fear of failure, the joy of overcoming, and the dedication required to create steady, sustainable growth. No successful athlete perfects his game doing it purely for the sake of others; your business ‘game’ is no different. Check your position—and make sure your purpose is ultimately rooted in what YOU want to achieve (never based solely on the suggestions or pressure of other people).
Success doesn't happen overnight. Sounds cliché, but too much too fast can bring more than you’re equipped to manage, and thereby compromise your quality of life, and the quality of the service you provide. It’s tempting to try to take big jumps to impress yourself or even worse, others. But using what’s already in your hands, your basic skills, an inexpensive space, free internet tools, etc., is the best way to start! Seeds are small and often don’t look like much at the time of planting, but with the proper care they will become strong and fruitful in their proper season! Nature’s timing is wisdom worth heeding—be patient and aware of the season you are in!
Know the difference between long and short term ideals. It’s crucial to have vision and know where you’d like to head. But it’s equally important to live in the NOW and do remarkable work today. Identify with who you are and where you are presently, and love that person here and now. I know all too well, and see all too much, the way our modern day pace drives us to be overly future-focused. If you can’t find joy today—here and now— you’ll be equally hard-pressed to do so tomorrow. The only moment we can actively engage is the one we’re living it at any given time. Adopt gratitude as a perspective, and hone the skill of practicing it daily!
Do you define this, or does the world define it for you? Progress can be all kinds of things, but YOU must identify what it will be for you, and how you will mark it when it’s observable to you alone. Sometimes it requires growing on the inside, your character and habits, so that you can withstand external obstacles. Picture a long distance runner on a casual run, and very little about his fortitude is visible… but put him on uneven terrain, subjected to unforeseen obstacles, and his resilience and abilities become crucial. In your business, you will need personal discipline skills that have to be developed from within. Be honest enough with yourself to know where you need help, and get it. Taking care of you IS taking care of the business, and progress is perfecting the areas that need it.
Yes, you should be making it! As I mentioned initially, your position should always be purposed to make you strong and healthy enough TO BE ABLE to help others and also be fulfilled by it! Understand your financials, and what you must charge for your services in order to be profitable. Recognize the value in what you do, and be confident enough to uphold it. I’ve seen countless fitness professionals drop out of the race for financial burdens, one reason being they simply aren’t confident enough to charge what is necessary for the life of their business. Know your numbers and manage them with the resolve that both you and your business are worth it.
As mentioned, my own journey has taken me from casual training and nutrition coaching as a side gig, to owning and operating my own full-time training studio! Each one of these five keys is something I had to learn and to really wrestle with. My encouragement to anyone looking to do the same is to take a deep breath right where you’re at and resolve to love yourself and grow yourself every bit as much as you do to grow your business!
Don’t Miss Your Chance To Train With Darcy DeFrees!
Darcy is located an hour south of Seattle in Washington State. She is proud to provide in-person and virtual private training, nutrition, and group class options for helping people to ENJOY improving their health & fitness and disciplines. Message her on Instagram @darcydefrees to find out about all available training options.
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